Big 5 Territory

Hluhluwe Travel Blog

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Giraffe has right of way

After stocking up on fuel and food in St Lucia town, we drove the short 1 hour drive to the gates of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park. We had booked 2 nights in a rest hut in Mpila camp, Imfolozi Park (which is unfenced to game). The facilities were basic but we had a braai and shared bathroom / kitchen and superb views over the valley.

On the afternoon we arrived, we decided to visit the Imfolozi side, despite the rain which limited visibility, but we still saw substantial amounts of game and in particular several white rhino. Due to the generator cutting out at 10pm, we were given no choice but an early night and we tried to blot out the animal noises around us, especially the hyena.

In order to make the most of game viewing, we were up with the animals to find that the skies had cleared.

2 cheetahs tuck in
We decided to drive over to Hluhuwe for the day and explore en route. Our start was delayed by a giraffe plodding through the camp and then down the road so we couldn't overtake!! Fortunately I needed the toilet so we took an unplanned detour and 10m up the road, we saw 2 cars parked and some vultures flying in. Closer inspection revealed a pair of cheetahs and their fresh impala kill - the vultures were waiting their turn. 

We lunched at Hilltop camp were we made the most of the all-you-can-eat buffet and Tom tried roast impala. We returned to Mpila in time for the night drive, which was slightly disappointing as we failed to spot the elusive leopard, but instead saw a spitting cobra, a mongoose, a bush pig and a nightjar. Tom did a good job with the spotlight.

The following morning we were up before first light to meet our guides for the bush-walk. One of the guides was carrying a rifle, but I didn't ask if he'd ever used it! The game could hear us long in advance so the closest we got to Big 5 was a lion footprint (from the previous night) and fresh black rhino dung, plus a lone male buffalo. Things got exciting when we had to climb a tree to escape a buffalo charge!!!

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Giraffe has right of way
Giraffe has right of way
2 cheetahs tuck in
2 cheetahs tuck in
Elephant
Elephant
Impala rutting
Impala rutting
Baby zebra
Baby zebra
White rhino leaving the wallow
White rhino leaving the wallow
Hluhluwe
photo by: inkie1010